Unconfirmed footage of Hostomel Airport (GML) near Kyiv, Ukraine, emerged on social media on March 3, 2022. Among the rubble of a damaged hangar and Russian military trucks, the video shows the Antonov An-225 Mriya destroyed.
— ANTONOV Company (@AntonovCompany) March 3, 2022
Some more images of the destroyed aircraft were shown in a report from the Russian state TV channel Pervi Kanal.
Latest Russian news reports at Kiev-Gostomel Airport confirmed the suspected total loss of the Antonov An-225 “Mriya” (UR-82060) during a Russian air attack on FEB 27th.https://t.co/vDjOCErfiM pic.twitter.com/TuFCBsxk7P
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) March 4, 2022
Conflicting reports regarding the fate of the world’s largest aircraft have circulated since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022.
Hostomel Airport, located in the vicinity of Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv, was attacked on the first day of the invasion. The alleged goal of Russian paratroopers sent onto the site was to establish a bridgehead for more troops to be flown in. After about a day of battle with the Ukrainian National Guard, the Russian soldiers gained control of the infrastructure.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba already reported its alleged destruction on February 27, 2022. But the Antonov Company had refused to confirm the information, saying it was waiting for an official expert assessment.
The An-225 was developed as part of the Soviet space program to transport the space shuttle Buran as well as large rocket components. It flew for the first time in 1988. With six engines and 42 tires, it could transport up to 640 tons, making it the most powerful aircraft ever created, and the largest operating.
The program initially planned on building two aircraft, but only one was completed before the fall of the Soviet Union. The incomplete airframe of the second giant is resting in another hangar at Antonov Airport. Its current condition is unknown.